News: Bryson Warren, the No. 14 prospect in ESPN’s class of 2023, has signed with Overtime Elite. Warren is the eighth five-star recruit to sign with the upstart league, shunning offers from Kansas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Memphis and others.
Oh man, he was a lock for the Hogs, but for this. Hmmmm!
How does this league make money? Is it literally all advertising revenue from their Instagram stories or what? Every criticism I had for lebron or KD is multiplied by 1000 for these kids. Are they scared of competition?! I just don’t understand how the money can keep coming in as the game is destroyed like who really is the customer here and since when does nobody care about seeing competition and the battle for a championship. Am I the only one this strikes as total participation trophy bs? Let’s all go watch some choreographed scrimmages on tic toc and get our blood pumping I love this game !
PJ I’ve read with interest all of the discussion about Muss’ HS recruiting of only 4 stars or better. I agree with what you say about Muss’ approach. I think he only wants freshmen that have a genuine chance to contribute in their first season. Thus, even though his recruiting may not be based on their star rating they will usually be in the 4 star range, and so far have proven to be. With these new professional development leagues the focus for HS recruiting may become more about the kids rated in the 20 to 125 range than the 1 to 20 range. The 5 star players are going to have plenty of immediate ways to make money, either through a professional contract or NIL deals that are large enough to compete. ( I gather Penny has figured out how to do this.)
High school guys have been skipping college to play minor league baseball for what, 100 years? They play on teams where it’s a lot less about winning than player development, and the fans come for mostly entertainment.
The only real difference here is Warren is starting younger and the teams generate most of their revenues differently. Will it work for Warren or for the teams in the long run? Beats me.
I’m genuinely curious how this league generates their revenue. Minor baseball or The nba D league or g league or whatever it’s called I get that. But overtime elite looks like a way for these kids to avoid playing real games against real competition. I mean who are they going to play against and who really cares about watching their team scrimmages? These kids are just trying to be in a bubble where they can’t get hurt. This is gonna be like a private school version of the and1 mix tape novelty act genre
I don’t see it as being real watchable, unless you are an NBA draft junkie. Kind of like going to watch an AAU tournament on steroids. A few really avid basketball fans will enjoy it, but it won’t have much appeal to most fans.
The revenue for the teams may come in large part from sponsors who have ties with the individual players. If those companies think it will help them “build the brand” for those players, helping pay for a place to play, a staff, and some media coverage of games may make sense.
It’s really as much of a farm system for the big corporate sponsorship players as it is for the NBA .The shoe companies etc. have been playing that kind of long game with the AAU, etc. circuit for decades, this will just be at a level capable of producing a pay-off for the companies in a shorter amount of time( when some of these guys get drafted into the NBA in 2022).
You understood my take well.
It has nothing to do with being scared or not scared of competition. If the goal of the player is to play in NBA, this is a faster path to NBA, without having to worry about school work, NCAA restrictions on practices, etc. Of course, immediate income is an additional incentive.
If I was a big time recruit, this is the path I would choose if it is offered to me. With OTL, my perception is I am halfway there.
Would we not all take a professional job of our ultimate objective straight out of high school, if it was offered? I don’t think it means we would be scared of having to take college exams.
Here’s your answer.
Nice find Jeff. Deep pocket investors. Plenty of liquidity to start out this program. Will have the ability to stream games immediately.
Will this ultimately be a profitable and stable program? Remains to be seen. But, certainly they have a lot of staying power with that investment base.
Don’t know how I missed the announcement in March about all this. They claim to date, they’ve raised $140M in capital.
As I understand it, OTE plans to sign 24-30 kids and create three teams that will play games against each other as well as other teams (which other teams I’m not sure). They’ll pay the kids six figures, there will be staff salaries and travel expenses and other stuff, but I bet they can do the whole season for $5 million or so. And I bet the idea is to sell media rights to somebody for more than that.
Yea this seems like the business model, and I personally hope it’s a failure like the XFL and so on. And I’m pretty sure it will join this long list of failed pro leagues. People want to see legit competition Not exhibition.
$5M sounds way too light. Double that and they can probably put a fairly professional-looking operation through year one, if they watch their pennies and don’t have any major unforeseen expenses.
I also think this set-up is a test bed for OTE to learn what it’s going to take to be a player in a lot of different sports/sports media in the years ahead. OTE is probably okay with losing a lot of money the first couple of years to find out if they’ve got something viable going forward.
Scheduling costs are going to be an issue, as a lot of the basketball factory academies-which are being floated as domestic opponents- are probably going to balk at playing a pro team. Any of them that can be convinced are likely to receive a really nice guarantee to play the game, either in the game contract or by a donation to the academy by an OTE sponsor.
If the OTE teams play foreign pro teams- a more likely scenario- OTE will have to pay extra costs to either send its teams or pay for someone else to come to the United States.
The sponsor money will only be there for as long as the sponsors think they are getting a bang for the buck. The burn rate on OTE’s cash is going to be pretty high in year one and probably year two. If profits are not in sight at the end of the second year, it will be interesting to see if Bezos, et al have any interest in putting any more money into the project.
I agree, if the goal is getting paid then getting paid now is the fastest path to getting paid… but if the goal is to be the best basketball player then there’s no shortcuts to that. You got to beat the best to be the best and also go through the psychological battles in a team environment chasing that championship through the trials of a long season. Let’s not forget this is a team sport. Kids are trying to drop out of the existing competitive landscape to focus on themselves in these insulated academies like this is gymnastics or skiing or golf or something. That’s not how you learn to be a winner in a team sport. But ya I guess a lot of folks don’t care about winning any more, they care about their stats and their brand and maybe the market rewards that. But I don’t think it will last. Nobody is going to be watching or talking about these overtime elite exhibitions. There’s no compelling drama for the average fan in that short cut to getting paid show. Maybe Jeff Bezos will get a kick out of it but I bet even he will lose interest real quick
The kids who take this route may be getting a lot of money now while also preparing for a shot at the NBA, but I think a lot of people are overlooking the fact that they are sacrificing a lot of fame and exposure. The fact is that Warren is effectively exiling himself from the public eye. Almost nobody is going to be watching his games.
He would have gotten more attention as a top 20 recruit and then exponentially more attention as a major player on a top 25 team whose games would repeatedly be on national tv. That means a lot when it comes to endorsement deals.
Sure his family may be aware of all of this and decided it was still in his best interest to take this route. But there is definitely a tradeoff.
I am not going to pre-judge this. Let’s see how it goes. There will be teams that play against each other. So you can’t say they are not learning teamwork, etc. They get to compete against HS juniors, seniors and just graduated seniors. Three classes like you experience in college ball, which has four classes.
Reading their overview, they seem to have thought of everything about the development of learning how to play basketball and academics.
As far us watching it, I don’t know if that is what they expect to happen. It is kind of like a G League and being a feeder for NBA. Initially they are depending on sponsorships, money from NBA to sustain this,
In the world of new startups, percentage of failures is high, but a lot of the failures are due to lack of funding and not because of bad ideas, This venture seems to have the funding part covered for now.
I am more worried about the future of college basketball than this, CB is already so diluted with one and dones and G League defections, that at times CB is barely watchable for teams not in Top 30 or so. OTE and such ventures may make it worse. For example, quality big men may never grace college ball.
I guess that’s my concern too. But more specifically it’s if we see harm to college Basketball that is fun to watch and see the rise of some crap like overtime elite that will not be fun to watch. And then there’s the overall purity of the game at all levels that hopefully doesn’t get watered down by promoting and protecting the image of potential superstars instead of the game itself and actually challenge that potential on the court. I don’t buy for one second that a bunch of five star kids that are being ordained as future pros and all paid by the same employer are going to really go all out against each other in some instersquad exhibitions. It’s about getting highlights for their Instagram in a safe space. Nothing more than that. It’s the exact opposite of everything that makes March madness great. I think college basketball will be fine exactly because March madness will always be March madness as long as we got 64+ teams with kids that actually have to go to class occasionally and get to know their peers that they are representing and be tested by mid major small college kids that don’t give two craps about their draft board stock. All the better if college basketball loses these celebrity kids that don’t want to be challenged.
Maybe he did not want to go classes at high school anymore!!